Two ways to use live blogs – events and news coverage

Two ways to use live blogs: events and news coverage

Media outlets and news sites are increasingly turning to live blogging to bring breaking news, real time reporting, and event coverage to their readers. Live blogs allows  content to be published faster, in a more condensed format, and allows for high levels or reader engagement through social media embeds, polls, quizzes, and Q&As.

To better understand liveblogging it is important to understand what the two main types are, and how the benefit they can bring differs.

Two different types of blogs – Event and Topical 

There are in general two types of live blogs: 

Event live blogs 

These are the type of blogs you usually think of when you hear the word “live blog” the include live election blogs, real time court reporting, debate live blogs, live fashion blogs, live sports blogs, product release live blogs, etc. and covers specific events, often in-person from where they are taking place. The are usually only active for a finite amount of time such as an evening, day, or weekend after which they are closed and archived. 

Event live blogs that cover a live event such as the Iphone X release event often require multiple writers: one at the event writing posts, and one or more at a news desk or central location that enrich posts with commentary, twitter tweets, or edits and posts photos and video.

If researched, promoted, and executed effectively these types of blogs tends to attract large number of readers, high number of page views, and a lot of social media buzz. But since they are short lived they do not generate the reader loyalty and revisits as the second type: topical live blogs.

Topical live blogs

Topical live blogs can be financial news live blogs, sports live blogs, weather alert live blogs, traffic alert live blogs, and are usually active for an infinite amount of time. These blogs sometimes run around the clock (e.g. providing live financial news for different stock exchanges as the open and close), and can contain thousands of blog posts published by dozens or more of different contributors.

Because topical live blogs run for longer amount of times, they are great ways create reader loyalty and increasing revisits. They can also provide the foundation for a monetization strategy beyond ads if you decide to place the live blog behind a paywall. Doing so can be an effective way to increase the revenue of your live blog. However it requires that you first build up a solid reader base before moving the blog behind a paywall.

Additional ways to monetize your live blog

For both types of blogs, it’s important to maximize the return and revenue generated by the content you have posted in them. By thinking creatively, and using the tags assigned to posts in your blogs, there are many ways to increase reader engagement with your live blog content. Some examples can be:

  • Weekly newsletters summarizing key posts and total topic coverage
  • Push notifications to users based on criteria they’ve selected (i.e a certain topic and importance level)
  • Segmenting out posts of a certain topic to help create new content pieces (i.e. leveraging posts from an election live blog to write a full piece article about the election results
  • Correlating post topics and importance levels with other pieces of information (i.e. blog posts and social media posts)

Live blogs are truly flexible and rich content channels that presents a unique way to interact with readers. By starting with a solid understanding your reader market, deciding which blog type best fits that market, and selecting the right live blogging tool, you will have a great start on which to begin your live blogging.

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